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Karioi summit – Raglan

  • 2 minutes

Raglan, Waikato

Raglan day hikes – mount karioi summit walk highlights

  • Stupendous views on a fine day, south to Mt Taranaki, the Herangi Range and Pureora.
  • Local harbours, Pirongia, Maungatautari and Te Aroha mountains
  • The Mt Karioi track is very challenging as it is very steep the entire time (note there is backdoor to the panoramic views)

Mt Karioi Track

  • Time to lookout: 2 hr 30 min – 3 hr one way
  • Time to summit: 3 hr – 3 hr 30 min one way

This is the steeper but more scenic of the two summit tracks.

Once over the stile at the start of the track, it’s all up hill, but there are plenty of good vantage points to stop, catch your breath and admire the view. After passing through a grove of kānuka, the track climbs up a grassy slope before reaching the main ridge. Chains and ladders have been installed to help negotiate the occasional rocky outcrop. At a large rocky bluff the track sidles around to the north for a short distance then climbs steadily to the ridge. At this point, a short 10-minute side track takes you to a lookout providing good views across Raglan Harbour.

Karioi Track, New Zealand
Karioi Track, Waikato, New Zealand

Back on the main track it is another hour to the summit (756 m) along an undulating ridge. The vegetation along the ridge has been sculpted by the strong prevailing westerly wind. The forest changes from kohekohe at lower altitudes to tawa forest, to kamahi and tāwheowheo towards the top. Other species of note include miro, toro, horopito and Dracophyllum traversii.

For tips on recommended clothing and supplies check North Island ultimate day walks, what to wear, supplies and fitness required. Remember to check the local weather report before departing.

Getting there: Start this track at Te Toto Gorge, 13 km from Raglan. Note, the last 4 km of Whaanga Road are unsealed.

Wairake Track (Backdoor route to the Mt Karioi summit)

  • Time: 2 – 3 hr one way

This is the shortest route to the summit and isn’t as steep as sections of the Karioi Track. It doesn’t have the same views. It’s a 40-min walk across private farmland to the bush edge. Respect the access privilege which is only available during daylight hours. From the bush edge, the track climbs steadily through coastal forest, comprising kohekohe, māhoe, rewarewa, kamahi and a variety of ferns and shrubs, to the summit.

Karioi summit tracks source Department of Conservation.

Karioi Summit Track in Raglan Waikato, New Zealand
Karioi Summit Track in Raglan, Waikato, New Zealand

Discover 35 Things to Do in Raglan, New Zealand and enjoy a classic seaside town.


Be tempted and explore the remote coastline beyond Manu Bay. Find Aotea Bay with its stunning stained rocky reefs and massive black sand dunes opposite  along the narrow winding unsealed gravel Whaanga Coast Road. Head south to Ruapuke between Mount Karioi and Ruapuke and Aotea Beaches beyond. Check out what lies beyond  on a Raglan day trips to Kawhia and Aotea Harbours inland route – Best Bits.



Best Bits travel guide is published by Owned and managed by PacificJane Ltd.


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